"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
Upton Sinclair

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 302

Estimated reading time:  2:15



Good morning from a crisp Vancouver. The Fall chill is in the air in this part of the world. It feels like new years for me. And sad/good news this week as it was announced that a colleague of mine had accepted a job that takes her not only out of our workplace but out of the country.


While I am thrilled for her; this is an extraordinary opportunity for her, I am also very sad. She and I have shared work and laughs and tears over the last dozen or so years, and I will miss her.


In the days following the announcement, the reactions of people have been fascinating to watch. Some people have been quite mean to my friend, saying things like “I hate you for leaving.” In reflecting on these comments I wonder about a particular challenge for leaders; the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts in our minds at much the same time.


I believe it is entirely possible. I am both very excited for my friend and grieving her moving away. I can also, for example, know that you are an amazing, creative and unique person and be disappointed in your work this week. One does not have to override the other.



The key here is choice. Where do I want to choose to focus my attention? I honour that I am sad, and that is not the defining feature of my day. As leaders we can find ourselves in these sometimes challenging situations where we may feel or think two things almost at once. Honour both and choose your focus; which of them will bring about the greatest good for all concerned?